The Kerry Park Islanders came up short in the shootout against the Saanich Predators in a wild Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League tilt at their home arena on Tuesday night.
One shooter for each team scored in the first three rounds of the shootout — Logan Walker found the net for the Isles — sending it to a sudden-death fourth shooter. The Predators’ fourth man was successful, but Islanders forward Mateo Sjoberg was denied on his attempt and the Isles settled for one point in a 7-6 loss.
The teams battled back and forth throughout regulation, so it was only fitting that the game needed more than just overtime to solve.
Saanich opened the scoring with a powerplay goal at 3:53 of the first period, but Islanders captain Matt Baird answered back less than four minutes later. The Preds scored the next two, but Kerry Park pulled even again with powerplay goals from Colten Thompson and Walker.
The Predators went ahead again early in the second period, but Jackson Egan made it 4-4. Saanich scored on the powerplay with 45 seconds remaining to take a 5-4 lead into the break. Reid Fitzpatrick made it 5-5 with another powerplay goal at 5:53 of the third, and then Egan gave the Isles their first lead of the night 48 seconds later. The Isles held fast to that slim margin until the Preds scored with 78 seconds left in regulation after pulling their goalie for the extra skater.
Both teams had to kill off penalties to survive overtime. The Isles started the extra session with the man advantage after the Preds took a penalty with 26 seconds remaining in the third, and Saanich had a full two-minute powerplay after Reid Fitzpatrick was whistled for hooking with 2:12 left in OT.
Dryden DeMelo made 26 saves as the Isles were outshot 32-27.
The Isles will visit Saanich this Friday, then play host to the Campbell River Storm on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in their last game until Dec. 29 and 30 when they play a home-and-home series with the Peninsula Panthers.